Three Cold War Crises

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International Relations, Section 5

Resource summary

Three Cold War Crises
  1. 5.1: Berlin: A divided city, 1961
    1. The situation in Berlin
      1. Berlin = Source of conflict for the Allies
        1. Contrast between high standard of living in the West + poverty in East
          1. 3 million people escaped from East to West Berlin 1946-60
            1. Economic survival of East Germany at stake
          2. Berlin Wall, 1961
            1. All movement from East to West stopped
              1. Immediate effects: flow of refugees reduced to a trickle + propaganda fail for the USSR and communism itself
                1. Propaganda victory for USA
                  1. Berlin Wall symbol of division between capitalist West and communist East, 1960s-80s
                  2. Kennedy's response, 1963
                    1. Visited West Berlin
                      1. Declared the city was a symbol of the struggle between forces of freedom and communist world
                  3. 5.2: Cuba: The world on the brink of war, 1962
                    1. Cuban Missile Crisis = most serious conflict between the USSR and the USA in history of Cold War
                      1. Castro and Cuba
                        1. CAUSES
                          1. Castro = Communist

                            Annotations:

                            • Castro came to power in 1958.
                            1. USA had retaliated – cutting off aid, stop buying cotton, sugar, tobacco
                              1. Castro asked help from USSR
                                1. USSR keen on gaining influence in Cuba, close proximity to USA's coastline

                                  Annotations:

                                  • Cuba less than 200km from USA's South-Eastern coastline.
                                  1. In exchange for Cuba's sugar, they would provide them with machinery
                                  2. 1961, Kennedy alarmed at what he saw as Communist threat
                                    1. American support to invasion of Cuba by rebels
                                      1. Bay of Pigs, 1961
                                        1. Was a disaster/failed
                            2. EVENTS
                              1. 14 October 1962, US U2 spy plane located Soviet missile sites on Cuba.
                                1. US naval blockade on Cuba
                                  1. US U2 spy plane shot down over Cuba
                                    1. Attorney General Robert Kennedy proposed deal to USSR

                                      Annotations:

                                      • The USA would withdraw missiles from Turkey as long as shooting of U2 spy plane was kept secret.
                                      1. Khrushchev accepts deal
                              2. RESULTS
                                1. Major affect on superpower relations
                                  1. USSR + USA realise that nuclear war had been possibility
                                    1. Telephone hotline established – Direct communications between superpowers
                                      1. Test Ban Treaty, 1963

                                        Annotations:

                                        • Signed by Britain, USA + USSR.
                                2. 5.3: Czechoslovakia: The prague spring, 1968
                                  1. 1967, Dubcek had become Communist Party Secretary in Czechoslovakia
                                    1. Spring 1968, reforms:
                                      1. Censorship of press ended
                                        1. Other political parties allowed
                                          1. Political prisoners released + Czech citizens granted greater freedom to travel abroad
                                            1. Seen as major threat by new USSR leader, Brezhnev
                                              1. Four months of freedom
                                            2. Soviet reaction
                                              1. EVENTS
                                                1. August 1968, 400, 000 WTO troops entered Czechoslovakia
                                                  1. Arrested leading reformers + seized key cities
                                                    1. Dubcek resigned in 1969, replaced by Husak
                                                  2. The Brezhnev Doctrine
                                                    1. Force would be used whenever necessary to keep WTO countries under Soviet control
                                                      1. Showed Soviet leadership wouldn't accept reforms in WTO + rejection of Communism
                                                      2. Doctrine + Soviet actions in Czechoslovakia did nothing to improve relations between USA + USSR
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